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strange inflection

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strange inflection

Postby sesquipedalianus » Sun Dec 21, 2003 4:22 pm

I came upon this sentence recently in an old text-book:
Ariadne identidem querebatur Thesea pollicitum esse se fidelem futurum esse.
Now, am I being dense? "Ariadne kept on complaining that 'Thesea' had promised he would be faithful." That is my translation - but why does 'Thesea' end in an A? I know it's a Greek name, but it should be masculine accusative, and I don't think Greek nouns ending in EUS have an accusative A form.
Is there anyone who might enlighten me? I'd be most grateful. :)
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Postby whiteoctave » Sun Dec 21, 2003 4:56 pm

Well, you answered your own question. Theseus had two forms in Latin, one adherent to the Greek, the other a Latinised version (Theseus-eos and Theseus-ei respectively).
Here we have the accusative form of the former, which has the accusative -a, like a third declension Greek noun would.

~dave
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Postby sesquipedalianus » Sun Dec 21, 2003 7:07 pm

Thanks, Dave!
If I remembered my declensions of Greek nouns better, I would not have been so dense :oops: !

maximas gratias tibi ago!
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Postby Episcopus » Mon Dec 22, 2003 1:36 pm

I hate Greek nouns. Go away! I don't care! In the Reading matter in Dr. D'Ooge's book freak greek consonant stem ablatives are annoyingly abundant. :oops: I'm learning Latin not Greek.
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Postby sesquipedalianus » Mon Dec 22, 2003 7:10 pm

Consentio, care episcope! nomina graeca haud mihi quoque placent. Infeliciter, quidam romani ea in scripturis suis nimis saepe contineabant; convenit nobis igitur parvam eorum partem noscere!
Nolo me inscium videri!! :(
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Postby Jeff Tirey » Mon Dec 22, 2003 7:24 pm

Episcopus wrote:I hate Greek nouns. Go away! I don't care! In the Reading matter in Dr. D'Ooge's book freak greek consonant stem ablatives are annoyingly abundant. :oops: I'm learning Latin not Greek.


Stop stomping on other's threads! :twisted: This was a good discussion until you jumped in.
Last edited by Jeff Tirey on Mon Dec 22, 2003 7:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby 1%homeless » Mon Dec 22, 2003 7:37 pm

LOL. Maybe it's not such a bad idea for me to learn Greek while still studying Latin after all. :) Actually, Greek noun declensions are a little easier than Latin from what I've observed of them so far. I would say it is much easier if it wasn't for the dual number. But maybe someone can confirm my hunches about this?
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Postby benissimus » Mon Dec 22, 2003 8:24 pm

It is absolutely and ridiculously silly to be disgusted by Latin's adoption of Greek words when we have an almost identical relation to Latin now as it did then to Greek. In some cases, Greek words are a part of Latin, and if you do not learn them, you will not be learning a large part of Latin.
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae
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Postby phil » Mon Dec 22, 2003 8:53 pm

How did the Romans incorporate Greek words into Latin? I've glanced now and then at the Greek forum, and it looks like a convention of tapeworms. How did the Romans move those words across, and, if they had to translate them from the Greek alphabet to the Roman one, why did they keep the Greek declensions and conjugations?, Would it not have been easier to incorporate the words, just as English does, but decline them the Latin way?
I am keen to learn.
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Postby klewlis » Mon Dec 22, 2003 9:23 pm

but even english doesn't fully incorporate all words from other languages... that's why we have so many exceptions to our "rules"... we have taken words as they are and have not tried to fit them fully into our patterns. We also have plenty of words and phrases which we don't even bother to translate, but just stick them in. Latins and Greeks did the same thing... they used each other's words without fully integrating them into their declensions... it's a little confusing at first but if you know a bit about both languages it becomes quite a bit easier to stomach. :)
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Postby bingley » Tue Dec 23, 2003 2:13 am

I hate Greek nouns.


And what is [face=SPIonic] e)pi/skopoj [/face]?

cf. English
phenomenon -> phenomena
criterion -> criteria[/quote]
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Postby Episcopus » Tue Dec 23, 2003 12:52 pm


Stop stomping on other's threads! :twisted: This was a good discussion until you jumped in.


I thought it was relevant :cry:

I'll give you a valid justification: I have spent much time and put much effort into learning latin, so to have my efforts belittled by some random greek consonant stem noun is a bad feeling for me, as sesquipedalianus feels also. I know I have to come on to them later, but I have learned every word in that book that I have had to learn, in the reading matter I note vocabulary that I don't know. Last night I learned 40 new words very well. These however did not include Greek nouns.
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Postby Episcopus » Tue Dec 23, 2003 3:04 pm

bingley wrote:
And what is [face=SPIonic] e)pi/skopoj [/face]?



Ah. I am sorry people. My favourite Greek noun. Can I retract that statement? bingley is quite right.

I just don't like consonant stems in a beginner's book, it's like telling me "you've learned latin, but that doesn't really matter, because you need to know Greek consonant stem nouns" - which is probably true, but we can't all do everything at once: it's either a first greek book or a latin prose composition.
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Postby benissimus » Thu Dec 25, 2003 5:28 am

Get over it, be respectful, and be happy :D
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Postby bingley » Thu Dec 25, 2003 12:48 pm

Glad to see you back, benissimus. We were getting worried about you
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Postby Episcopus » Sat Dec 27, 2003 12:33 pm

pff...I wasn't :wink:
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Postby sesquipedalianus » Wed Jan 21, 2004 6:43 am

Well, so glad my frightening encounter with a Greek accusative prompted so many comments :lol: !
I did note from an old 1920s text of Cicero's Philippics that Mark Antony (whose prose was apparently pretty awful) constantly incorporated Greek words into his speech, not realising that they were Greek words! Cicero, of course, would not have approved. Many sophisticated and urbane Romans spoke quite fluent Greek, as it had been for centuries the lingua franca of the Mediterranean world, so it's hardly surprising that words entered the language and then became romanised.
I think the upshot to all this is that I shall have to start learning Greek again :( .
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